WILKESBORO — MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 28-May 1, announced the return of the Acoustic Kids Showcases to the 2016 festival.
Young pickers and singers are encouraged to apply before the March 21 deadline in order to perform during the showcases. The Acoustic Kids Showcases allow the next generation of pickers and singers and other traditional-style performers to highlight their talents for music fans at the four-day festival.
These showcases, which played to standing-room-only crowds in 2015, reflect an elevation and encouragement of talented young performers that have been part of the festival from its early days. Hosted by performer and beloved MerleFest veteran Andy May, these showcases will provide an opportunity for young performers through age 16 to perform in a supportive environment.
Participants selected will be notified by April 11. Selection is not based on how advanced a child’s performance might be, but rather it is based on a child’s confidence in performing at his or her level. In fact, beginners are encouraged to apply.
Additional instructions and details about the Acoustic Kids Showcases, may be found at http://andymay.com/acoustic-kids/application-instructions/. You may apply online or download a printable application at http://andymay.com/acoustic-kids-application-merlefest/.
The Acoustic Kids Showcases are held on Friday and Saturday on the Austin Stage, Dance Stage and Mayes Pit. (Program pocket schedule has specific times.) Additionally, from among this year’s pool of applicants, several performers will be chosen for a special “Acoustic Kids Ambassadors” performance hosted by Andy May on the Cabin Stage Saturday evening.
Andy May is well known to MerleFest fans as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, mandolinist, producer, educator and visual artist. His Acoustic Kids Showcases have given many hundreds of young performers supportive performance opportunities for over 25 years.
The MerleFest 2016 lineup and stage schedules are available online at MerleFest.org/lineup. Tickets for MerleFest 2016 may be purchased at MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An Early Bird discount is available through April 27.
MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.